Donald Trump is facing another grand jury in another state: There’s a second grand jury empaneled in the Trump documents case, this time in Florida, where evidence will be heard this week.
More Donald Trump Problems
It’s been known for months that a grand jury in Washington has been hearing information about former President Donald Trump’s possibly illegal handling of classified documents, in connection with Special Counsel Jack Smith’s probe. Recent reports have stated that a charging decision is likely near, with Trump’s attorneys’ meeting on Monday with Justice Department officials.
Now, there’s word that another grand jury is hearing testimony related to Trump’s handling of classified documents after he left office.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a second federal grand jury, in Florida, is hearing testimony in the documents case.
“In recent days, Smith’s prosecutors have also sought testimony related to the documents probe before a grand jury in southern Florida, in what some people familiar with the process said appeared to be an effort to tie up several loose ends,” the Journal said. South Florida is where Mar-a-Lago, which was raided as part of the investigation, is located, which likely explains that location.
It’s unclear, though, why prosecutors are using multiple grand juries in one case.
In addition, the New York Times reported this week that prosecutors “are expected to question a new witness” before the Florida grand jury this week, although the identity of the witness was not disclosed. At least one other witness has other been questioned in Florida, the report said.
Talking Points Memo published in an analysis of why the grand jury has convened in Florida.
“Will Smith be able to make his case in DC, which nearly everyone considers a more favorable venue for prosecutors than South Florida, or will he be forced to proceed on Trump’s home turf? I won’t get into the complicated legal analysis, but it requires analyzing a complex interconnected series of factors, including the underlying conduct, where it occurred, which defendant is charged, and the laws being charged.”
After Trump’s lawyers met with the Justice Department, Trump seemed to believe that he would indeed be charged. That was the indication of an all-caps Truth Social post on Monday.
“HOW CAN DOJ POSSIBLY CHARGE ME, WHO DID NOTHING WRONG, WHEN NO OTHER PRESIDENT’S WERE CHARGED, WHEN JOE BIDEN WON’T BE CHARGED FOR ANYTHING, INCLUDING THE FACT THAT HE HAS 1,850 BOXES, MUCH OF IT CLASSIFIED, AND SOME DATING BACK TO HIS SENATE DAY WHEN EVEN DEMOCRAT SENATORS ARE SHOCKED,” the post said. “ALSO, PRESIDENT CLINTON HAD DOCUMENTS, AND WON IN COURT. CROOKED HILLARY DELETED 33,000 EMAILS, MANY CLASSIFIED, AND WASN’T EVEN CLOSE TO BEING CHARGED! ONLY TRUMP – THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!”
Also this week, The Guardian reported that a charging decision in the documents case could come “within days.”
This followed a bizarre story, reported by CNN, that a flood at the Mar-a-Lago swimming pool last fall had flooded a computer server room, where the facility’s video surveillance logs were kept. It’s unclear, however, whether the flood took place intentionally or accidentally. That incident, which happened eight months ago but is only being reported on now, has become part of the federal investigation.
The flood took place about two months after the raid on Mar-a-Lago. However, per CNN, prosecutors have been told by at least one witness that the IT equipment was not damaged in the flood.
“The flooded room as well as conversations and actions by Trump’s employees while the criminal investigation bore down on the club has caught the attention of prosecutors,” CNN said. “The circumstances may factor into a possible obstruction conspiracy case, multiple sources tell CNN, as investigators try to determine whether the events of last year around Mar-a-Lago indicate that Trump or a small group of people working for him, took steps to try to interfere with the Justice Department’s evidence-gathering.”
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Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.